French President Macron Says He Won't Back Action Against China By U.S.

  • by:
  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 04/09/2023
Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday that Western Europe must pursue "strategic autonomy" and stay out of conflicts on behalf of the US. Although the French president has previously made similar claims, he has nevertheless supported Washington's position on Ukraine.

This week, Macron told a news outlet in an interview while traveling within China that "Europe faces a great risk" if it "gets caught up in crises that are not ours."

The contradiction, according to Macron, is that we think we are merely America's followers because we are so terrified. Is it in our interests to escalate the crisis in Taiwan, is the issue that Europeans need to respond to. No. The worst scenario would be for us Europeans to believe that we must adopt this US agenda and Chinese overreaction as gospel truth.

Prior to the interview, Macron had a meeting with Xi Jinping of China, and he came to the conclusion that "Europeans cannot resolve the crisis in Ukraine, how can we credibly say on Taiwan: 'watch out, if you do something wrong we will be there'" 

After Macron exited Chinese airspace, Beijing began military drills over Taiwan, a response to Tsai Ing-Wen, the head of the island's pro-independence movement, meeting with US senators on Wednesday in California.

US President Joe Biden suggested on multiple occasions last year that Washington might use military force to stop Beijing from uniting Taiwan with the mainland, putting relations between the two countries at an all-time low. While international leaders, such as Macron, appear to be content to remain out of the Taiwan conflict, Xi has reportedly become enraged by their persistence in pressuring China to condemn Russia for its military action in Ukraine, according to media reports and statements from Chinese officials. 

Additionally, debates of "strategic autonomy" in Europe have been largely derailed by the situation in Ukraine. Even though Olaf Scholz's government reversed decades of pacifist foreign policy to arm Ukraine at Washington's request, France and Germany have both given Kiev's forces armored vehicles, ammunition, and in Germany's case, tanks. While Macron and former German Chancellor Angela Merkel had frequently discussed reducing their reliance on the US in recent years.

Macron has supported all 10 of the EU's anti-Russian sanctions measures despite the fact that inflation and rising energy prices are causing internal instability. Since last February, Macron has had numerous conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin but has failed to persuade the Kremlin to stop intervening in Ukraine.

Last summer, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov noted that the French president "is still talking about the strategic independence of the EU" and added, "I am certain they will not be allowed to have it."

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